North carolina medical malpractice occurs when a doctor harms a patient, either intentionally or through negligence. Fayetteville medical malpractice lawyers at Brent Adams & Associates often hear the common belief that medical malpractice occurs during surgery, it can occur in virtually any area of medicine.
In addition, doctors are not the only medical professionals who can be charged with medical malpractice. Those who may also cause harm to innocent patients are:
- Nurse practioners
- Lab technicians
Types of Medical Malpractice Cases in the South
In North Carolina and the South, medical malpractice includes, but is not limited to:
Misdiagnosis – A diagnosis error includes cases involving errors related to a diagnosis or delayed diagnosis. Many common diseases and conditions, such as appendicitis, heart attacks, strokes, and certain cancers may be overlooked, or the doctor may fail to respond quickly enough in a manner expected of another reasonable physician. This may cause the patient unncessary harm.
Surgical error – Surgical errors can occur before, during or after the surgery. They can include performing wrong-site surgery, inadequate would care, infections, leaving instruments inside the body, and mistakes during post-operative recovery.
Anesthesia errors – Related to surgery, anesthesia errors may also occur in some cases. Anesthesia is a sensitive agent that can cause severe medical conditions or even death if not administered properly. The anesthesia must be administered in the appropriate manner per the accepted standard of care expected of other reasonable anesthesiologists.
Birth injuries – Although most births occur without incident, babies that are too small or too large can have complicated deliveries. Because of this, doctors may use birthing instruments to facilitate the delivery. When used inappropriately, these instruments cause serious harm. In addition, medical liability can be placed on the medical provider if he or she is negligent in monitoring the baby throughout the process.
Medication errors – Common types of medical malpractice cases include those involving medication errors. These can occur when a doctor fails to take into account other medications that may interact poorly with a new drug he or she is prescribing. They can also occur at the pharmacy.
Errors in filling the prescription may include incorrect dosage amounts or even filling the wrong drug, leading to an overdose or even death. This is also common because some drugs have similar names that can be easily confused. Medication errors can also occur if the drug was defective and did not meet safety standards, putting medical liability on the drug manufacturer.
Emergency Room Medical Malpractice
In some cases, various types of medical malpractice cases may occur in the emergency room. An emergency room is a high-pressure environment. Time is of the essence and doctors do not always have time to plan a proper course of treatment. Decisions must be made on the spot and sometimes these decisions have negative consequences. These factors may be coupled with understaffed ERs: Too many patients and not enough doctors to treat them all effectively.
In an emergency, doctors do not have the time to review a patient’s medical history. Unless a family member familiar with the victim’s medical history is present at the hospital, the medical staff may perform procedures or administer drugs that can cause severe health complications.
Other factors that can lead to emergency room medical malpractice include lack of proper training and unsanitary conditions. With many patients going in and out of the emergency room in rapid succession, it can be difficult for staff to fully sanitize equipment before the next patient arrives. This can lead to deadly infections, or the transmission of diseases.
These unique circumstances are taken into account when considering whether the standard of care was met and if medical liability exists for injuries. In all cases of medical malpractice, the physician must have deviated from the accepted standard of care. If the physician acted within that standard, but the patient still became injured, no negligence is said to have been present. Read an example of an invalid medical malpractice case. NC medical malpractice lawyer Brent Adams explores different cases in his book The Truth About Medical Malpractice Claims, available for free here.